Range Rover Protests Its Own Existence Outside Dealership

Sure, if you’re dissatisfied with your vehicle, you could complain to the company. You could write to Consumerist, or even start your own Web site. Or you could park it in front of the dealership that it came from, with a list of the vehicle’s flaws and a warning to potential buyers plastered on in vinyl letters. A man in Colchester, England did just that.

Large yellow vinyl letters along one side of the car read: ëIf you want trouble free motoring do not buy one of these!!!’

On the side and rear windows it lists: ëProblems with . . . 6 front ball joints, 4 front arm bushes, new seat base, front and rear n/s [nearside] struts, full n/s suspension unit, anti-roll bar bushes, air con.’

Arguably, the customer’s first mistake was paying £50,000 ($81,496) for a car, but never mind that. The dealership can’t move the car since it isn’t on their property. The stunt got their attention, and now the dealership is trying to get the disgruntled customer into a new—and one hopes less problematic—car.

Rover’s revenge: Furious driver dumps his £50,000 Range Rover outside showroom… emblazoned with a list of its ‘faults’ [Daily Mail]

(Photo: peterbmorris)

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  1. spoco says:

    brilliant.

  2. geoffhazel says:

    I had a rover 2000 back in 1969. That car was difficult to care for. There was no part you could fix without moving another part first. And they were very big on “special tools” and spanners for parts removal.

    “Give an Englishman a piece of metal, and he’ll do something stupid/silly/foolish with it” — Unknown

    • madanthony says:

      @geoffhazel:

      In the 80’s, Rover marketed the Sterling 820, which was essentially a rebodied Acura Legend. Car and Driver described it as proof that only the British could take a Honda and make it unreliable.

      • Andrew Norton says:

        @madanthony: I describe that claim as proof that Car & Driver don’t have a clue what they’re talking about.

        The Legend/800 were co-developed by Rover and Honda. It’s not a rebadged Honda. And lets not forget that a number of the problems were from Honda, not just from Rovers end (the horrible double-wishbone suspension, for instance)

        And don’t forget that the first ever lap of the TT circuit in a car with a 100mpg+ average speed… was in a rover 800

        Personally, I wasn’t taken with them, I’ll keep my 180hp Austin/MG metro twin-turbo

    • Saltillopunk says:

      @geoffhazel: I know my grandfather had a Rover in the late 60s or early 70s and I think it was a 2000. One of only a couple in Michigan. Many a story had been told about his quest for repair parts. My uncle inherited it and sold it sometime in the late 80s.

  3. geoffhazel says:

    Really nice job of lettering, too. Looks professionally done.

    • kc2idf says:

      @geoffhazel: That’s for sure. From reading the Consumerist summary, my initial expectation was that it was going to be really jacked up, but the picture is gorgeous. This is obviously a guy who can stay calm under adverse conditions (then again, I think the British are far better at that than we are here in the US).

  4. Nick Wright says:

    One day people will learn to stop buying Range Rovers. Maybe then those abysmal creations will finally go away.

  5. HiPwr says:

    I find the level of smarminess in Range Rover TV ads almost ubearable.

    • MyPetFly says:

      @HiPwr:

      Smarmy sells here in San Diego. I see quite a few Range Rovers around, usually driven by soccer moms.

  6. Snarkysnake says:

    It certainly begs inquiry as to whether this chap can read the printed word. If so, he would find that Range Rovers are , shall we say . quite unsatisfactory in regards to reliability. If more people would take the advice on offer from dissatisfied owners, this unpleasantness could be avoided because the company would be…Shall we say , defunct. Cheerio !

  7. oldtaku says:

    If only he’d put this much effort in ahead of time into researching anything, anything at all about cars, he would have found that Land Rover is consistently at or near the bottom of reliability surveys of every sort. But still, I guess that’s a good way to get grease for your squeaky wheel.

    • P_Smith says:

      @oldtaku: Lemon Repair builds cars today the way the British auto industry built sportscars in the 1960s. They have managed to make Hyundai look good by comparison.

  8. michelsondl says:

    I had a friend back in high school who’s dad did that with his Dodge Caravan. It had been in the shop like 10-15 times and they wouldn’t replace the vehicle, so he would put signs all over it and drive in circles around the Dodge dealership and their parking lot sales that they would always do at a big shopping center in town. I don’t think they ever replaced the van, but it did piss quite a few salesmen off.

  9. MaytagRepairman says:

    Reminds me of that old story where the guy drove his car back to the factory and set it on fire. Can’t remember the details but I’m sure somebody out there can help me.

    • bdgbill says:

      @MaytagRepairman: I don’t remember the guys name either but the car was an early eighties Lincoln Continental. The guy pretty much single-handedly started the slow movement towards quality by Amnerican car makers that continues today.

      The guy was an immigrant and a self made man. The Lincoln was his first “fancy” car and he was very proud of it. The car quickly turned into a nightmare and spent most of it’s time in the shop. The car died in front of a fancy restaurant at a work function and he had to push it out of the driveway while wearing a tuxedo. The next day he drove the car to the factory where it was built and set it on fire at the gate.

      He was arrested and got into some minor trouble but the story was picked up by the national media and started a dialog about the terrible quality of american cars.

      This guy is viewed as a hero by some people in the businesss.

      I can’t find the story on Google – Anyone know this guy’s name?

      • P√∏lŒ¨rŒ≤«Ω–Ø says:

        @bdgbill: I once had a 1983 Continental when I was 16. I WOULD have loved the car, had anything on it worked.

  10. dakotad555 says:

    Land Rovers suck unbearably. I can’t imagine why anyone would be willing to spend a small fortune to drive a car that breaks down ever 10k mile.

  11. vastrightwing says:

    Is it my imagination, but weren’t Jaguars, MGs and Triumphs all British and don’t they share similar technical “qualities” as well?

    • alexcassidy says:

      @vastrightwing: From my understanding, yes, but Land Rovers seem to be the worst of the bunch. (Yes, there are exceptions. Yes, I realize the plural of anecdote is not data.) Supposedly Jaguars have become a lot better over the years with the exception of the X-type.

    • MyPetFly says:

      @vastrightwing:

      I had a 1979 MGB (new) that had a few minor problems in the fairly short time I had it, although I’m happy to say Jaguar/Rover/Triumph reimbursed me with no hassle for covered repairs I had to pay for.

    • HiPwr says:

      @vastrightwing: How about Coopers? Are they any good? My brother used to race Lotuses. I don’t know why he favored those.

      • quiksilver says:

        @HiPwr: MINI Cooper is owned by BMW though their cars are produced in Cowley, Oxfordshire, England according to Wikipedia. I would assume that BMW has a strict quality control of MINI, which is rated fairly well by Consumer Reports.

        I looked at a MINI awhile ago, but wanted the AWD instead.

    • intellivised says:

      @vastrightwing: My grandfather was enormously wealthy and he had a top end Jaguar of some sort back in the 80’s. One of those there V-10 monsters. He had a general distaste for flying post retirement and drove everywhere with his trophy wife.

      Grand total: His Jaguar broke down and had to be fixed in 30 states.

    • mianne prays her parents outlive the TSA says:

      @vastrightwing: Or as the old joke goes: Why do British pubs serve warm ale?

      Because MG also makes refrigerators.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I used to think that in the rover motherland you at least got more reliable and better serviced vehicles.

    My parents are former owners of a 96 Disco, it had its issues but could sure take a beating and keep on going. The trick is to keep all the fluids topped off, namely differentials and transfer case-A hard feat in something that could be nicknamed bleeder.

  13. Collie says:

    Jaguars are no longer made in the UK, ford bought them years ago, then sold them to the Indians. So it is only UK in name anymore, but they did suck the old tail pipe when they where made there. Top Gear did a competition between the worst UK cars ever made, so they know that they have always produced crap on four wheels, but at least they have a sense of humor about it.

  14. gravitus says:

    Man I like the styling of the Land Rover LR3 and would theoretically buy one if A. I had the money and B. They weren’t just huge flaming bags of dog shit for a vehicle.

    I suppose I’ll never own one….

  15. MountainCop says:

    All the parts falling off my Land Rover Discovery are of the finest British quality.

  16. Joewithay says:

    My biggest beef with Range Rover (classic version) other than breaking down every 500 miles was that damn tailgate. Who makes a car outer skin out of aluminum except for the f-ing tailgate. Wisconsin winters made that tailgate rust sooo bad in 5 years.

  17. Dave on bass says:

    Man. I must have been lucky – I loved my 2003 Discovery, $1600 oil leak and all (the only repair I had to have made, but I didn’t have it very long either) – only sold it due to the $4 gas thing…

    While the old saw about British cars may well be true that “if it’s not leaking, it’s empty”, the running gear (eng, trans, 4wd) on those things is actually great stuff. Even LR mechanics told me beforehand that I’d get leaks and electrical issues here and there, so I just kind of knew to look out for it.

    Thing was cheap, too, something like $14k with about-average mileage for its age.

    Still, I side with the lemon-warning guy here.

  18. hills says:

    I love it – wish I had done that with my first Rover! Alas, my screen name may hint at my bias, but I love my LR3 – no problems (yet!)….

  19. MeOhMy says:

    I love their new ad that says something like “80% of all Land Rovers sold in the US are still on the road today.”

    “On the road” makes no distinction about whether it actually runs :-)

  20. veg-o-matic says:

    @vastrightwing: Heh.. my parents had an MG when I was little.. and it didn’t take long to get rid of it because it constantly needed repairs and parts were nearly impossible to come by at reasonable prices.

    ..Although I think our Opel actually outperformed the MG on craptasticness.

  21. subtlefrog says:

    Outside of the US, Rovers still sell because of the image. In Belize, which was British until the early 80’s, and still has a large Brit influence, there’s this tourist influence (Brit & American) that Rover = jungle experience. So even though they break down every other day, the lodges have to buy them to keep up with the lodge next door, because it’s what people want. Never mind that they are uncomfortable and obnoxious and unreliable and expensive…

    The one good thing the models they sell there have going for them is that they are all mechanical, not computerized, which means the people in the middle of nowhere can work on them – they don’t have to somehow get the broken down hunk of dog poo to a mechanic to get it fixed, which they do with the newer, computerized vehicles. Those, most of those guys won’t touch with a 10-ft pole. And they’re not interested in learning.

  22. militarydave says:

    3 years ago, a co-worker was at a drive through at a Rally’s in San Diego, CA, when his 1996 HSE V8 Caught fire when he tried to lower the air springs and turned up the A/C simultaneously. Since we were stationed near the Mexican Border,

    I told him to tow it to Tijuana. $6000 later….the truck looked brand new, and is basically an expedition (motor/tranny/ecm/etc) underneath the RR shell.

  23. bbagdan says:

    When I sold Mercedes, a couple came in whose nearly new Range Rover’s transmission FELL OUT OF THE BOTTOM OF THE TRUCK at highway speed, nearly causing a freeway pileup. Land Rover refused to give them a brand new vehicle or refund despite weeks of negotiations, they had to settle for a free repair job. Sadly, no sale for me on an M-Class.

    But you have to admit, the Range Rover is the best looking SUV on the road. Too bad they’re lemons.

  24. Tom_Servo says:

    Brilliant!

  25. bigmac12 says:

    After all, they are made by British dentists!